A Few Things I Learned When I Moved To Chicago

I’ve compiled a small list of things I’ve learned since living in Illinois.  Please feel free to add some of your own in the comments:

  1. When asked where you live (if you live in the suburbs), say Chicago. Unless you are local, nobody knows where your suburb is.
  2. Blue Island is not an island.
  3. Little Village isn’t little.  It has about 90,000 people living there.
  4. They name their neighborhoods here.  If you live in Chicago, you may also live in a neighborhood like Little Village, Mt. Greenwood, or Beverly.
  5. North Chicago or West Chicago aren’t Chicago.  They aren’t actually anywhere close to Chicago.
  6. 115 Bourbon Street (nightclub/restaurant) isn’t on Bourbon St.  It’s on 115th St. in Merrionette Park.
  7. Maxwell Street Market isn’t on Maxwell Street.
  8. You have to have your lights on in your car if your windshield wipers are on.  (State law)
  9. The Chicago Botanic Garden is in Glencoe.
  10. They call bubblers (if you are from Wisconsin, you’ll know what that is!) water fountains here.  😉
  11. The Chicago City Limits (nightclub) is actually in Schaumberg.
  12. Highways are called expressways.  They all have a name and a number associated with them too.
  13. Chicago Loop Sports Bar & Grill isn’t in the Loop.  It’s in Streamwood!
  14. If you are on the CTA, you may see stations marked with Chicago.  This is referring to Chicago Ave. not the city!
  15. The Skokie Country Club is in Glencoe.  However, the Evanston Golf Club is in Skokie.  (I have no idea why)
  16. Park Forest and Forest Park are two different places that are about 35 miles apart.
  17. Lake Forest and Forest Lake are also two different places that are about 12 miles apart.
  18. There is no lake in Northlake.
  19. The Hinsdale Golf Club is in Clarendon Hills.
  20. Miles mean nothing here.  15 miles can take you 2 hours to drive in rush hour!

Even though I’ve lived here since 2000, I swear there is something new I learn every year.


  1. My favorite is when someone is asking for directions (north, south, east or west), we always have to figure out which way the lake is before we can answer. Of course my husband grew up in the area around Midway airport and has never done this. Maybe that's just an inner city thing!!

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